Success is not a doorway, it's a staircase.
(Dottie Walters, 1924~2007, American entrepreneur, speaker, author)
What is it that we all want? Isn't it success and happiness? So, it's no surprise that a reader in Iran is interested in success. Arash (not his real name) is a 35-year-old married carpenter who wants to become extremely successful. That is, he wants to be free from financial worries, free to travel anywhere, and free to do anything he and his family choose to do. To that end, he listens to Brian Tracy audio programs in his car and studies books on success. Arash is asking for help because he doesn't know where and how to begin. He would like an action plan or roadmap to success that will end the confusion and clearly point out the steps he needs to follow. So, let's begin.
Step 1. The first step is to understand what is required for success. And what is that? Hard work! You've got to work harder than most people if you want to be more successful than them. To emphasize this point, let me quote William A. Ward (1921~1994), "The recipe of success is to study while others are sleeping, work while others are loafing, prepare while others are playing, and dream while others are wishing." It is essential to realize that success is not a doorway that you walk through, but a staircase that requires effort to climb.
Step 2. After acknowledging that it will take hard work to succeed, you must be willing to make the effort and determined to do whatev er it takes to succeed. In other words, you must be committed.
Step 3. You must understand that some difficult tasks are harder to do than others because of subconscious interference. Here's an example of what I mean. Arash already has the self-discipline to exercise, but when it comes to taking steps for success, he feels powerless to act. Why is that? It is because when he tries to step closer to success, his subconscious digs in its heels, screaming, "No! I don't want to do that!" Of course, the subconscious doesn't actually yell at us, but it creates resistance that is hard to overcome.
Why does the subconscious do that? Well, one of its main jobs is to protect us. And there may be some false beliefs embedded in your subconscious. False beliefs such as, it is bad to get rich because all your friends will get jealous and leave you, or it is bad to get rich because money is the root of all evil. If you have such a belief, your subconscious will try to 'protect' you by building a powerful wall of resistance to prevent you from succeeding.
Another job of the subconscious is to follow all your instructions, for it is there to serve you. However, as far as the subconscious is concerned, your beliefs are instructions that it is duty-bound to obey. So, for example, if you believe that you do not deserve to succeed or that you are unworthy of success, your subconscious will program you to engage in self-sabotage, short-circuiting your success.
Now, here is the important point. You do not need to know what your subconscious beliefs are or why your subconscious is creating so much resistance. You merely have to expect it, consider it normal, and remain determined to take the necessary steps, even though you don't feel like doing so. Remain resolute. Your success is too important to ignore just because you don't feel like doing anything. So, your guiding principle for success must be, "Feel the pain and do it anyway."
Step 4. Oddly enough, Arash's biggest problem is that his problem isn't big enough. True, his family is in debt, but he has a job and is getting by. So, there isn't a strong enough reason to change. Arash, imagine falling overboard from a ship in a raging storm. Imagine huge waves collapsing all around you, sending you deep below. What would you do? No matter how tough the resistance would be, you would fight for your life, struggling with all your might to reach the surface.
When a fox chases a rabbit, the rabbit usually escapes. That's because the fox is running for its dinner, but the rabbit is running for its life. Arash, become that rabbit; run for your life. Become that man who fell overboard and struggle with all your might to overcome all the resistance you have to face. When you develop this sense of urgency, you will succeed.
Step 5. The first four steps were really preparation we must do before taking actual action steps. And before telling Arash what his first action step to success must be, let me briefly lay the groundwork. The world's most powerful country, the United States, finds itself almost powerless on many fronts. Why? Because its massive debt is preventing it from realizing its potential. Similarly, Arash, the debt your family has taken on is distracting you and holding you back. When deciding what goals to embrace, always choose what is most important, not what is most glamorous. Your first goal must be to eliminate your debt, so you will be free to focus on other goals. Work closely with your wife to develop a plan to eliminate your debt within a reasonable amount of time.
Step 6. While you are working on eliminating your debt, study and plan. For example, work with your wife to decide what goals you want for your family. To avoid overlooking important goals, also discuss what you do not want. For example, remembering that you don't want to get sick, will remind you that you want to have a long, healthy life. After deciding what you want, study what you need to do to reach those goals. Set a timeline, getting an idea of what you can achieve in 2012, in the next five years, and in the next ten years. What obstacles can you expect and how will you overcome them? What are your strengths and how will you use them? What are your weaknesses and how will you overcome them? How will you prepare for the unexpected?
Step 7. Learn how to recognize opportunities. We often fail to see them because they may come disguised as hard work, problems, or challenges. Problems provide you with the opportunity to learn and grow. The bigger the obstacle, the stronger you will become, so embrace them.
Step 8. Three frogs were sitting on a log. One decided to jump into the pond. How many were left? Did you answer two? Think again. You see, I didn't say one jumped in; I just said one DECIDED to jump in. It's not a technical point that I'm debating, but a sad fact of life. For there's a big difference between deciding to do something and actually doing it. If you wish to succeed, you have to stop dreaming, planning, or deciding and start taking action. Decisions without action are preparations for living without living. We need to act to experience life. We either make things happen or let things happen to us.
How many New Year resolutions did you decide to make that never came to pass? How many items on your To-Do list have just been lingering there, but never brought to life? A decision without action is no more powerful than indecision or no decision. Decisions are powerless unless we follow through. And when we follow through with action, we will be greeted with success. In fact, the etymological meaning of "succeed" is "that which follows," for success is what follows action.
As a carpenter, Arash, you are familiar with the importance of a toolbox. But did you realize that everyone who wishes to succeed must also have a toolbox? The tools for success are the characteristics or habits we must cultivate, develop, and maintain. Here are some of them:
Yes, success is hard work, but so is failure. One leads to rewards, the other to pain, regret, and suffering. Which would you rather have? Which do you choose to have? When will you begin?
© Chuck Gallozzi For more articles and contact information, Visit http://www.personal-development.com/chuck